Instructors, here is the truth about yelling “Shoulders back” at your riders. It doesn’t work. And it isn’t that it doesn’t work because the rider is ignoring you or isn’t trying. It doesn’t work because tightness in the riders body is CAUSING the shoulders to be internally rotated and weakness in the abs is further building on this problem.
This is not something that can be fixed in the saddle.
What causes a hunched position
Clients come from a variety of backgrounds BUT the one thing many have in common is the fact that they do either a lot of time sitting at a desk (student, office worker) OR they do a lot of time driving. Both of these positions cause tightness in the front of the shoulder and chest, also known as the internal rotators.
The more someone sits with their shoulders rounded forward the tighter the internal rotators get, however this isn’t the end of the problem! This position also causes the back muscles to weaken and lengthen. The very muscles that would maintain a tall position and shoulders back.
This position further impacts the rider with a weak core, tight hip flexors and weak glutes. For the purpose of today we are focusing on shoulders.
Here is a graphic for the problems hunched shoulders create:
What does this mean for the horse?
When you have hunched shoulders your core is weak, forcing you to sit on the back of your pelvis. Sitting in your chair right now sit up tall with a strong core then allow your shoulders to hump forward and stop any contraction in your core. Do you notice how you go from sitting evenly on your pelvis to the back of your pelvis? Your body literally folds forward from pelvis to shoulders.
Now, sit up tall again, core tight. Force your shoulders back by pushing your chest forward. If you have naturally tight internal rotators right now your chest will naturally pop forward to accommodate the shoulders being forced back. Notice how your lower back arches and you shift to the FRONT of your pelvis? THIS is what happens when you tell a client “Shoulders back” and they force them back with tight internal rotators.
Here is a graphic to illustrate what I just described:
We require a neutral seat to not only have a strong and balanced position but to also properly influence the horse with clear aids. Imagine how FRUSTRATED your horse is when you are giving unclear aids and they are trying to interpret what you want!
Riders, and coaches, if the shoulders are being forced back, causing an exaggerated arch in the lower back this is the position you are in:
Forcing the shoulders back, despite the tight chest and weak core is causing extreme rounding of the lower back. Notice how this position is also forcing the legs forward and the rider is unable to properly get the heels down, so the toes point out. Without fixing the root cause you are only causing issues downstream of the “issue” you have fixed.
Further, notice how the horse has dropped his back and lacks impulsion. This is the immediate effect of sitting on the front of your pelvis. Your horse will drop their back and be unable to push from behind. You will lack impulsion and the ability to give clear aids from this position.
By correcting the body tightness and weakness you see an immediate improvement in the rider and horse:
Where to go from here
To start you must stretch the tight tissue and strengthen the weak tissue. I highly recommend beginning with yoga, particularly Yin Yoga. The long holds of 1-2 minutes not only properly release the muscles but also the connective tissue.
Next you need to identify your weak areas are strengthen them. Make sure to do 2 back exercises for every 1 pushing (push up for example) exercise.
I offer a fantastic 80 day program to my riding clients that helps to address postural imbalances and weakness. This program is an essential base to have for a balanced and strong position.
It is no longer acceptable to say “This is just how I am!”. The horse depends on us treating ourselves as the athletes we are. Postural imbalances in us can also lead to lameness issues in our horses.
For more information on the programs I offer to riders please feel free to fill out the form below:
I would like you to take a moment for reflection. What are the main thoughts that are on repeat in your mind throughout the day. What stories do you tell yourself, and how are those stories limiting your true potential.
Starting today I want you to make the conscious effort to eliminate the following low vibe phrases from your vocabulary:
I don’t know.
These words take the power AWAY from you, when you are actually powerful beyond measure. These thoughts, and words, will stop you from taking risks on the things you really want in life. And, the worst part is none of them are true.
Now that you have eliminated those words from your vocabulary I need you to make the conscious effort to fill your vocabulary with the following high vibe phrases today:
🗝️I am a badass.
🗝️The answers are on their way.
What you may not yet realize is that what comes out of your mouth comes into your life, so choose your words, and thoughts, wisely.
At this point I often hear “but I am so unhappy in my job, I can’t be positive” or “I can’t lose the weight no matter what I do…”.
These are all your perceptions of reality. Made up stories you tell yourself.
Even if you HATE your full time job and it brings tears to your eyes, and your soul wilts, at the thought of even going in CHOOSE power words. Take your power back.
I CHOOSE to go into work because it funds my personal business I am building.
I LOVE that (employer) is the main financial supporter of my business.
It is also your CHOICE to hate your situation and do nothing about it, whether it is your job, weight, relationship, etc. The reality is NOT that you cannot be successful. The reality is not that you cannot lose the weight.
The reality IS you are choosing not to do the behaviours that will lead to success.
You are CHOOSING to stay miserable or you are CHOOSING to be happy.
Whether you believe it or not you ALWAYS have a choice.
I want nothing more than to leave an impact on this world by creating badass women that realize they have no limits and truly go for it.
I used to be really good at running from fear. From picking up and moving, starting a new job, heck (true story), I even changed my name at one point and went by my middle name!
My going to Australia, while one of the best decisions of my life, was brought on by fear of failing in my Masters of Social Work. I didn’t believe I “deserved” to be there. That I somehow was a fraud. I truly believed in my heart that I couldn’t succeed. So, when the opportunity came up to travel, I didn’t think twice…. Even with a full year of tuition already paid for!
The problem is, if you run from your fears they will follow you. You will never get stronger, tougher or grow. And you give yourself a false illusion that you have control over the future. By running you prove yourself right, you couldn’t do it.
I didn’t learn this until I had literally no choice but to face my fears. I left a position as an Equine Assisted Therapy coach in a Neuroplasticity program on really bad terms. My mental health was declining, due to the work environment, and I just could not watch what was going on anymore. When I resigned my boss turned on us and we were kicked out of the house we lived in, illegally might I add, and had nowhere to go (We lived on property). I will leave it at that because I truly want to leave that experience in the past.
After I left I was audited by Canada Revenue Agency and was found to have been an employee, NOT a sub contractor. This meant that I owed back taxes on TWO YEARS of employment, and every penny of it since none of my claims against taxes were now applicable.
To keep a very long story short this led to two years of my old boss battling the decision with CRA, and dragging me along for the ride. I DID think about how I could run from this problem. “What if CRA changes their mind, I face penalties for this…. And more back payments…”. But the greatest gift that woman ever gave me was putting me through this experience because man did I grow.
I had no choice but to stand tall, tell my story and face each fear, each audit, each question head on. I had no choice but to be strong. And, in the beginning I wasn’t. It nearly broke me. But with each appeal, and with the letter that came stating she was taking me and the government to the Tax Court of Canada, I grew stronger. And I realized I WOULD SURVIVE by facing this head on.
A couple days before we were due in tax court I was lying in bed and pulled my journal out from my night stand. Nervous, but happy to get this over with after 2 years of appeals, I wrote “Good always wins. The Truth is always revealed”. I tucked my journal back into my night stand and went to sleep. The next day I received notice that she withdrew and the nightmare was over.
I grew SO MUCH from the experience and I realized that if you run straight at your fears they get the hell out of your way. By facing down your fears you grow as a person. You get stronger. You gain more confidence in you and your capabilities (Which, are endless by the way).
By facing your fears they seem so silly and insignificant. You will one day ask “How did I ever wonder how I would get through that?”. You will amaze yourself at how much you will grow.
Fears and obstacles are to be taken head on. Stop running. It doesn’t fix anything.
You are a badass. You have limitless potential. You have the ability to build the sanctuary of your dreams, to build a six figure business or finally start your couch to 5k…
But first you need to get out of your own way and unf*ck yourself.
How long have you allowed your thoughts to stop you from taking action on your dreams and goals?
How long have you wanted to do something but failed to take action? Unless you count continuing the scroll through Instagram in a desperate bid to AVOID the action you really need to take!
And I have to ask:
Are you tired of the positivity movement and feel MORE down on yourself for not being able to maintain positive thoughts 24/7? That shit just makes you feel like a failure because very few people are hardwired to be pissing rainbows of positivity 24/7. I am certainly not one of them!
Do you think Ghandi, Rosa Parks or Steve Jobs were never gripped with uncertainty? That they never woke up to self doubt, or the doubt of others? That they didn’t have sleepless nights? That their genius was just one day bestowed upon them to share with us!
They were gripped by the same fears, self limiting beliefs and self doubt that any of us are but they took action anyway. They pushed aside the obstacles in their way and continued to strive into the unknown.
They took action DESPITE their doubts or mindset on any given day.
People can have perfect rainbow and butterfly positivity thoughts, 24/7, and accomplish absolutely nothing in life. Going through life spouting out positive affirmation after positive affirmation without taking ACTION.
And there are people, despite bad backgrounds and a mind that wanders, that put aside their self doubt, take action and accomplish their goals DESPITE their mindset.
Positive thinking is not a predictor of accomplishment any more than a negative mindset predicts failure.
I am tired of people thinking they have to wait for a new mindset to change their life.
You have to learn how to act independently of your thoughts. To stop focusing on your thoughts and focus on ACTION! And, you already know how to do it! You drag yourself to a job you hate, pay taxes and pay bills despite really not wanting to do it! We simply need to focus this ability on actions that move you forward in life!
Also, you must learn how to be relentless in the pursuit of your goals!
In this 3 month mastermind course you will follow through a proven system to master your mindset, take action and unlock your true potential.
It is not about getting everything just right. About waiting for lightning to strike you in the a$$. Just get up and take action. Messy inspired action. The more you flex the get up and go muscle the easier it becomes!
So let’s set big goals, take action and live the life you have wanted for far too long!
In this course you will learn how to change your life by changing your ACTIONS!
To be added to the waiting list please fill out the form below!
I read a lovely story recently that will help put into perspective how our perception becomes our reality.
The story is about a woman who walks to a stream many miles away, fills her two clay pots with water, and carries them back to her house, dangling each pot from either side of a long stick that she drapes across her shoulders. When she arrives home each day with the water one of the pots is full and the other is nearly empty.
The almost empty pot is sad and feels like a failure because it’s crack is causing all the water to leak out on the path home. The pot feels like it does a bad job because it’s only job is to bring water to the house, and it can’t even do that right. The pot compares itself to the other pot and only sees the large crack and how it isn’t as perfect as the other pot. The cracked pot tells the woman how ashamed it is but the woman tells the pot something wonderful.
(And here, my beautiful friend, comes the lesson in imperfections and failure.)
She says: Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. For two year the bees, butterflies and birds have fourished because of you.
The moral of the story:
Everything in our reality is reflected back to us depending on how we choose to perceive it. Your “flaws” are either strikes against you to part of what makes you unique and badass- it’s your choice. You are constantly creating your reality through your thoughts and those thoughts are going to shape the actions you then take.
Learn to find beauty in all of your perfections and imperfections, because both of them make you YOU. Stop beating yourself up and berating yourself because you aren’t like everyone else. CELEBRATE that you are different. Share your different with the world!
Not only is loving yourself a more joyful way to go through life, but you never know what brilliance might sprout up from your temporary setbacks and failures. We grow in those times. Pressure is going to force you to grow. Embrace it. Lean into it. It is very possible you will wind up creating something far more beautiful than what you had originally set out to create, and that you would have never known had you not “failed” or screwed up.
As someone that has, previously, suffered from chronic anxiety and depression my mission is to help adult women overcome chronic worry, stress and anxiety holistically.
In the depths of my depression and anxiety I still had a dream. A vision for a better life. I would lie on the couch complaining that I didn’t have that vision. Depressed due to things I had, or had not, done in the past. Decisions I labeled bad or good. “How could I have been SO stupid to move for that job…”, “Why did I not take that opportunity when it came up… That would have been ME living that life!”, the thoughts pulled me down like an anchor. And I was anxious about the future. Oh, was I anxious. Anxious to the point I pulled at my hair, my hair fell out and I broke out into full blown adult acne. I also won a night at a sleep clinic due to full blown insomnia. I couldn’t sleep to save my life. I was exhausted.
I was medicated on and off for anxiety. I tried therapy, and while I am a huge advocate for seeking the assistance of a therapist and using medication to support recovery, there was still something missing.
No matter how many medications I used my mindset didn’t change. I was still emotional eating Harvey’s deep fried pickles and eating a full bag of chips a night, often to the point where my heart hurt from the binge eating. I KNEW I should workout. I KNEW I should eat better. I KNEW the choice was mine.
Hell, I WAS a counsellor! I knew the ways to improve my mindset, the holistic approaches I could take, but is it ever hard to get off the couch and get started. It feels like you are stuck in quick sand, and it is exhausting just trying to pull yourself out.
One night, locked in the bathroom by myself, crying on the cold floor I decided enough was enough. You see, to change our lives we need either inspiration or desperation. I was desperate. I knew the path I was going down and it wasn’t good. I committed to changing my life… But tomorrow. How often do we say tomorrow?
The universe heard my call and responded, as she always does. I was mindlessly scrolling Instagram and I saw a post about an online coaching opportunity. It was the kick in the pants I needed to get my life on track, and did I ever. I took it for the sign it was and jumped all in. My financial reality changed, I am building a life I am proud of, my vision board is consistently having big ticket items crossed off and, the most important, I LOVE my life! I incorporate self development into my everyday reality and between that, the endless possibilities this opportunity presented AND the amazing tribe of women I have met I am but a shadow of my previous self, and that is something to celebrate.
Is this to say I never have bad days? Of course not. Anxiety and depression will lurk in the shadows, waiting for a chance to try and pull me back down. The difference is now it is but a fleeting feeling. A tug I feel that I promptly kick in the face. Through taking a holistic approach to healing I am off my anxiety medication and living my best life.
I am such a firm believer in a holistic, whole person approach, to dealing with anxiety. The research is endless on the benefits, and here is some research to help you understand how essential it is for you to start an exercise program to help overcome your anxiety:
The problem? It can be SO hard to get started. That is why I am so passionate about coaching people through this time in their life. Had I not found my tribe, and found this coaching opportunity, I would still be wasting my life away medicated on my couch complaining about how things never go right for me.
My mission, boiled down, is to help women reach their true potential. And living in the suck. Living in the poor habits that have created anxiety for us. That have created depression. That is not a way to step into our greatness. What got you there, won’t get you here. You have to do things you have never done to achieve greatness you have never achieved.
I want every woman to wake up in the morning and think “How effing great am I?”, “Man, I am a damn Rockstar!” and hit the ground running chasing their dreams and goals. No obstacles is too great. No setback too large. You are on a mission to a greater life and I want to guide you there.
I am so proud to offer the programs I currently use to help you in your journey. I know they will transform your life, and I can’t wait to bring you the SOS Method: Holistic Healing to Chronic Stress and Worry, in the coming months.
For now, know I am here when you are ready to start. I am here when you are ready to step into your greatness. I am here when you hit either inspiration or desperation. I am simply here. Let’s do this, together.
I get it, you want to change your life. You want to get fit. You want to join my team and start your own online business. You can just feel the sense of pride knowing you are changing someone’s life and setting yourself up for financial freedom!!! You can see the house of your dreams in intricate detail.
Or, you want to start the cupcake bakery of your dreams! Oh, you can just smell the cooking cupcakes and you can visualize your first customer walking through the door as the bell dings, to alert you that your first customer walked in! But…..
You don’t have the money.
Suddenly you are sucked back to reality and your dreams seem like a distance memory, obscured by fog and trees.
I mean, how can you start a business, get started with your fitness journey or bake cupcakes when you don’t have the money. And, I do understand. I have been there. I certainly wasn’t born into money. Heck, I declared bankruptcy in my early 20’s.
But, let me tell you the biggest secret that is going to unlock new levels to your life: What you focus on expands. If you focus on being broke as a stray dog, you will be broke as a stray dog and you will ONLY see the lack.
BUT if you focus on attracting money. believe it or not, you will find ways to bring money to you. Money is simply energy, and you can attract energy.
Look, it is just as easy to believe we are giant sucking things as it is to believe we are magical creatures of unlimited potential. Which one do you want to believe? The choice really is yours.
I mean here is a reality check: If you had to come up with $100 TODAY to save the life of your dog would you? If your phone took a swim in the washer and no longer worked how long would it take for you to manifest the $800 to replace it? I wager only as long as it takes to get to the store.
You see, the problem is never lack of resources. The problem is lack of resourcefulness.
And, if you say “Well, starting my own business or getting fit isn’t as important as the fancy new phone being released by Huawei”, well, then you have your answer on why your health sucks, you are one corn dog away from a heart attack and why you are stuck in a job you hate. We will FIND A WAY when things are important to us.
Without further ado here is your starting place for attracting $100 today.
Do the Gary V Challenge! This man is a genius and he will show you that $100 is just the tip of the iceberg.
To get money you must have positive money mantras. So, immediately drop the “Money sucks”, “I will always be broke”, “Good things never happen to me”, pathetic untrue mantras. Adopt a new money mantra.
And, also drop the sideways glare! I promise, it works!
Here are a couple to get you started:
I love money because it allows me to travel.
I am grateful for money because it gives me a roof over my head.
I attract money through my success mindset.
I have all the money I need to accomplish my goals.
This is where I will lose people, and I understand that. When I first heard about the law of attraction I was a counsellor. We were going through Neuroplasticity training and I legitimately thought people had lost their mind. In a huff I sarcastically uttered “Ya, and I want a million dollars… You don’t see me winning any lottery!”. The problem is we often come from that mindset: lack. We are pissed at money and convinced we will always be broke. Negativity only attracts more negativity.
I spent a lot of years jealous about people lucky enough to have a horse from Blazing Colours Farm. For 5 years I spent every spring thinking “I wish I could have one of her horses”, “I am too broke to ever afford a horse from that farm”, “Oh, how nice it must be to be born into money”. And, for 5 years I couldn’t afford a horse from her farm.
In 2018 I accepted the law of attraction and decided come hell or high water, I get one shot on this floating rock, I am going to make it count, damnit! I emailed the owner of the farm and asked about a breeding. At the time I was making barely above minimum wage and already had 2 horses. There was nothing about me that screamed “You can afford a horse from that farm”. In fact, looking at me you would have thought “Is this girl actually insane?!”. My husband thought I was, that is for sure! But I knew I could attract the money into my life to make it happen!
I started applying to jobs like applying to jobs was my job! I got turned down by all of them, which was probably good because none of them allowed me enough to pay my new bills and, well, you know, eat! Then. The final place called. Not only was I offered the job but it allowed me to make payments on the baby AND eat! Que singing chorus of angels!
I share this because I WASTED 5 years feeling too sorry for myself to take action. 5 years.
If there is a will, there is a way. If you WANT something you WILL find a way.
Write down the 5 most common limiting beliefs you, or your friends, use to talk about money. Then immediately write down why that is not true.
When you write down how silly your beliefs actually are it gives you power to overcome them!
If I told you that I would give you a million dollars if you found a way to make $100 within the next 24 hours, would you? Yes, you would. You would sell items lying around your house, offer to shovel driveways/ cut lawn, pick up overtime at work… You would do what it took to come up with $100!
Put What You Learned Together!
I would be happy to go into more detail on how to GET RICH (not quick but get rich!) living your dream but I want to start with changing your perceptions about money. And that is all these steps are about. Reframing your mindset around money and helping you get resourceful to find the money!
Also, the way you view things has a profound effect on what you bring into your life. If you saw these steps and rolled your eyes and snickered, I feel bad for you because you will be stuck in the same ho-hummery I was stuck in for 5 years, wishing for something better but refusing to take action because ” Good things don’t happen to me”, “I will always be broke”, etc. Sure, food dulls the pain but only for so long, especially when you start to ALSO feeling sorry for yourself because of the weight you have gained!
Until you realize what you can and can’t afford is all in your mind you will not realize your true potential, because, let’s face it everything requires money! You can either be addicted to results of your drama. Choose results.
What others think of you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
~ Jen Sincero
When I left my masters in Social Work to travel for a year I had more nay sayers than I had supporters. As a 20 something I had a lot more guts to go against the grain and do what my heart called me to do.
Luckily I listed to my heart because Australia was the best experience I could have ever hoped for. I traveled weekly, did solo trips into the mountains for weeks on end. Hiked mountains, swam in the ocean, cuddled Koala’s, saw a wild platypus (lifelong dream!), ran along the ocean, played, laughed and loved more than I ever thought possible. Australia filled me up with a special kind of magic that stays with me to this day.
Had I listened to the nay sayers I would have never experienced that.
As I grew older I lost that. I became more concerned about what other people thought and was easily swayed when someone had something negative to say about a new adventure I was undertaking. While I wouldn’t say it out loud I would decide that something wasn’t right for me out of FEAR of judgement.
Can you relate?
I want you to sit back for a moment and truly ask yourself how many opportunities you passed up out of FEAR. Out of fear that your friends would judge you. Out of fear how complete strangers on the internet would perceive you.
How many wonderful “Australia moments” could have come out of those missed opportunities?
I don’t ask you to do this to have you dwell on the past. I want you to realize that REGRET stings more than taking chances and putting yourself out there ever will.
Are you living an “ok” existence to avoid rocking the boat?
Are you living a “fine” existence to avoid ruffling feathers?
If so, why continue living a ho-hum existence when a totally BADASS, mind blowing existence is on the table?
Here is the thing. People’s opinions of you have more to do with them than they do with you. Someone that is unhappy, and resentful, will project their negative vibes on you. Instead of using that as a reason to drag your vibes down why not use it as a way to propel yourself forward and find people that align with your beliefs. Those people are out there. People that support you and WANT to lift you up are out there and just waiting to welcome you into their tribe!
Take stock of the things you have on auto-loop in your mind and upgrade anything that is not supporting you in your quest for a better life. Pay attention to what comes out of your mouth when you talk with your coworkers. Your friends. What type of podcasts do you listen to? What types of shows do you watch?
Pay attention to the thoughts that go through your mind as you look in the mirror. It is ok to want to better yourself but you must also love who you are now. Change always comes from a place of love. From positive vibes. You must love yourself enough to change and go after what you want. Conquer from within.
An easy exercise to change your reality TODAY?
Write down 5 beliefs/ complaints/ activities/ environments that are constant buzz kills in your life. Things that keep dragging you back down into the pits of despair and mediocrity. Immediately after writing those 5 things down write down the SPECIFIC ways you are going to immediately upgrade them.
Changing your thoughts, and environment takes work. A year ago I was medicated for anxiety, wallowing about how I “could never get my personal training business up and running again”, and I woke up every morning wondering how the HELL I was going to make it through another day. I literally burned through sick days due to anxiety and depression.
Snooze became my best friend and I would have literally allowed you to shave my head rather than decide to drag my lazy ass off the couch, and away from Netflix, to workout.
I binged Harvey’s milkshakes and deep fried pickles, and hid the evidence so my husband wouldn’t judge me. Then beat myself up over the rolls that were developing around my mid section. I was a far cry from the athlete I once was. And that only spurred me to emotional eat more.
Thank goodness I took a chance on a post about a coaching opportunity with the amazing company I am now aligned with. It literally gave me the power to save my life.
I am now off anxiety meds. I don’t drink the excessive amounts of wine I previously thought I deserved for stressful days. I rebuilt my self confidence and badass willpower to succeed. I have joined a wonderful team with the company I am aligned with and I have built a team of empowering, inspirational women and men. We literally change lives for a living, from home, and I couldn’t be more proud of what we have all overcome and accomplished.
So, next time an opportunity knocks, see it for what it is: The universe presenting you with a wonderful gift. Take a leap of faith. And, if negative Nancies try to bring you down, realize you may have to leave behind some people to grow into the wonderful, badass person you were meant to be.
You are a badass, my friend. Don’t ever forget that.